Beating morning stiffness with Rheumatoid Arthritis begins the night before. Some mornings are easy, the sun is shining, you’re well rested and ready to hop out of bed and get moving; others are shadowed by stiffness, pain, and fatigue.

According to a study done by doctors in the Department of Rheumatology at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, morning stiffness is reported in 44% to 80% of patients in low disease activity, and an even higher percentage in those with higher disease activity.

Conquering morning stiffness can include everything from stretches in bed to application of heat before starting the day. Developing a morning routine that is slow and kind to your body is essential, but crafting a nighttime routine is just as important.

We hope that you’ll give some of these tips a shot and try some techniques of your own. If you do something that works for you, we’d love to hear about it.

Get enough sleep

If you know that you need nine hours of sleep to feel rejuvenated, make sure you lay down with plenty of time to fall asleep and get rest before your alarm sounds in the morning. In fact, on days that you are able to, try not setting an alarm at all and letting your body wake up naturally.

Do stretches

This doesn’t need to be a full yoga session, but doing some light stretches before bed will keep you feeling limber and melt away the tension from the day. Check out some of these stretches from and the Arthritis Foundation.

Take a shower

A warm shower at night eases achey joints. Also, sleep experts have said that night showers change your body temperature in a way that may help you get to sleep faster. Consider snagging a soothing shower melt and playing some spa tunes.

Drink something warm

Something like green tea or a bone broth will warm you from the inside out and start to lull you to sleep. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and are super tasty! We love FOND Bone Broth, but you can also make your own with a few leftover ingredients.

Wear cozy pajamas

Not all pajamas are created equal. Pajamas that are too tight or constrictive can add unwanted pressure on your joints. The biggest culprit is elastic that is too tight.

Get a great pillow

Waking up with a stiff neck and tight shoulders is the worst. Invest in a pillow that makes sleep even better. We love the Hydraluxe Gel™ Dual-Sided Cooling Pillow, but find that any cooling, foam pillow does the trick. Try out different pillows to find the right fit for you.

Keep items nearby

It is not abnormal to wake up stiff in the middle of the night. Keeping your medicine, an extra blanket, and a water bottle nearby will save you the pain of having to get out of bed.

Listen to your body

Listening to what your body has to say is important all day. If you’re tired, then rest. If you wake up and are sore and drowsy, go back to sleep. You need it!

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